Review: Summer of Turtles at MOA

On June 30th 2013, I traveled with my dad to Nickelodeon Universe in Minneapolis, Minnesota to take part in a “Summer of Turtles” event. The Summer of Turtles consists of different events that take place on weekends during the summer. This particular event was the animation event. Michele told me about the event, and that she was going to be there with her sister Miki. I have always wanted to be an animator, and I hope to one day have a career in the animation industry. I knew I had to try everything I could to get there.

I initially planned to attend the event on Saturday, but all of the flights that morning had suddenly filled up, and I had no way of getting there. I talked with Michele, and planned on getting there the next day. Sunday Morning, we arrived at the airport. We had three chances to catch a flight and make the event on time. As luck would have it, we made the first flight, and we were on our way from Atlanta to Minneapolis.

We arrived at the mall early before the park had opened. It was then that we met with Michele and Miki for the event. This was actually the first time I had met them both in person. After a few minutes of talking, we went to go pick up our press passes for Cowabunga Corner.

I had a lot of fun in the hours before the event. Michele, Miki and I walked around the park talking to employees and looking at all of the turtle’s decorations the park had put up for the event.

The time then came for us to get in line for the event. This was Michele and Miki’s second day at the event, and they had already made friends with one of the animators doing sketches. The animators did not work on TMNT, but they did work on other Nickelodeon shows. The animator that we met with was named Jay Shultz. He has worked on past Nickelodeon shows such as CatDog, and is currently working on Dora’s Explorer Girls.

The three of us arrived at the table and said hello to Jay. Michele and Miki asked him to draw Snakeweed and Justin. Using the reference pictures we brought along, Jay made both characters look fantastic! Then it was my turn. Miki had Leatherhead’s model sheet with her on her ipad. I then watched as Jay brought my favorite character to life!

It was a true honor to speak with him and watch him bring a character to life, even more so that the character was Leatherhead!

Michele, Miki and I went through the line two times. The second time we watched as a TMNT fan did an honorable deed and let a family take his place in line due to the fact that the line had already closed, and they did not make it on time. Michele decided to have the drawing that he wanted done by Jay, and we were able to bring it to him after the event!

Michele interviewed the family, who had a young Donatello fan with them. The whole family was very kind. The young boy noticed my shirt and said “Leatherhead!” at which point I showed him the drawing Jay had made.

While we were in line Michele came up with an excellent idea for my second drawing. We thought it would be cool to have Michelangelo holding a pot towards Leatherhead bringing him food! Jay was happy to do it, and it turned out looking fantastic!

We said our goodbyes to Jay and then went walking around the park looking for our friend from earlier to give him his drawing. We caught up with him and his family, and spent a few minutes talking to them. Afterwards Michele, Miki, my dad and I all went out to Michele’s car to check out the TMNT memorabilia that she had brought along with her for Comic-Con. Things like Mikey and Leo’s head props and Tokka’s hand, as well as all kinds of cool drawing and animation cells!

I had an unforgettable time at this event, and it was an honor meeting so many awesome artists and fans.

Entertainment Earth



Donatello19's picture

Those drawings are amzing!

Leatherhead's picture

Jay did an amazing job on both of them! Thanks for reading Donnie! :)